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Barry, Redmond (DNB00)

BARRY, Sir REDMOND (1813–1880), colonial judge, was born in 1813, the third son of Major-general H. G. Barry of Ballyclough, Cork, who was descended from a member of Lord Barrymore's family. Redmond was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. in 1833, and five years later was called to the bar. He went in 1839 to Sydney, New South Wales, and shortly afterwards accepted the office of commissioner of the Court of Requests in the newly formed town of Melbourne, then containing but a few thousand inhabitants, and struggling for a larger existence. Barry remained faithful to the place of his adoption, and in 1850 when the gold discoveries at Bendigo creek and Ballarat gave so startling an impulse to the growth of the colony that it was enabled to part company with New South Wales and form itself into the colony of Victoria, he was appointed solicitor-general with a seat in the legislative and executive councils. In the following year he was made a judge, and manifesting great interest in the promotion of education, he became in 1855 the first chancellor of the new Melbourne university, and in 1856 president of the board of trustees of the public library. He was knighted in 1860, and on visiting England in 1862 he was chosen commissioner for the colony at the International exhibition. He filled a similar office at the Philadelphia exhibition in 1876. At the close of this year, in the absence of the governor and the chief justice, Sir Redmond administered for a few days the government of Victoria. On a visit to England in 1877, when he was made K.C.M.G., he attended the conference of librarians held at the London Institution, and was elected vice-president. He read an instructive paper on ‘Binding,’ another on ‘Lending Books,’ and a note on ‘The Literary Resources of Victoria.’ He died in Melbourne 23 Nov. 1880. That he was one of the most accomplished, able, and energetic of colonists and a truly courteous gentleman, is the opinion of those who knew him on either side of the globe, while the magnificent public library at Melbourne, the Technological Institution, and the National Gallery of Victoria bear testimony to his learning, his taste, and his zeal.

[Heaton's Australian Men of the Time; Proceedings of Conference of Librarians, 1877; Victorian Year-book, 1880–1.]

R. H.